Data breach reported for City of MLT utility billing vendor

Utility payment box at Interim City Hall parking lot, 6100 219th St. S.W.

A company used by the City of Mountlake Terrace for online utility payments has been breached by ransomware.

The City of Mountlake Terrace contracts with Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc. (AFTS) to handle Mountlake Terrace resident and commercial utility billing including processing of paper check payments. The AFTS servers were encrypted by ransomware sometime between the evening of Feb. 3 and the morning of Feb. 4, 2021. There is no direct threat to the City of Mountlake Terrace’s network as a result of this incident, the city said.

Potentially breached information from the AFTS database may have included the following personal information: utility bill account number, name, address and billing amounts. For residents or businesses who pay their utility bills by mailing a paper check, scanned copies of their paper checks are also stored on the AFTS servers that include bank account and routing information. It is unknown at this time whether these scanned copies of checks have been illicitly extricated from the network.

Residents or businesses who pay their utility bill by mailing a paper check are encouraged to monitor their bank account for any unusual activity and report  suspicious activity to your bank right away.

Currently, customers can drop off payments in the utility payment box at Interim City Hall parking lot (Redstone Building, 6100 219th St. S.W.) or contact their bank to set up online bill pay. If you have additional questions, contact the city’s Utility Billing Department at utilitybilling@mltwa.gov or 425-744-6214.

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